Home Care Workers Drive 7.88 Billion Miles a Year

Does your agency have mileage expenses under control? Home care aides, nurses, and therapists who serve elderly, disabled, and chronically ill patients across the United States drove 7.88 billion miles and made more than 718 million home care visits in 2013 alone. Of these 718 million visits, 218 million were Medicare home health and hospice visits and 338 million were Medicaid home care visits, according to a report by the Foundation for Hospice and Home Care at a press conference on December 15 in Washington, D.C.

MITC Agency Workforce Management includes online Mileage and Expense Reimbursement forms that automatically verify claims for mileage using GPS and past history before managers approve the expenses.

There has been a 200%+ increase in the estimated total number of miles driven by home care providers in recent years. In 2006, for instance, the estimated number of miles driven in home care services totaled 4.76 billion. The rise in miles traveled over the last seven years is attributed to increases in Medicaid home care, Medicare home health growth, and Medicare hospice utilization. The average number of miles per visit in the U.S. in 2013 totaled 10.97, the study found. The state that recorded the highest average miles per visit that year was Maine, with 35.2.

To learn more about integrating Mileage & Expense Reimbursement Forms into time & attendance, contact MITC today.

 

New Overtime Regulations Start to Bite

The new wage and overtime rules for home care workers pose a challenge to many agencies. Agencies with weak or ineffective time & attendance and scheduling systems are particularly vulnerable.

In a recent survey by Home Care Pulse, 62% of respondents said that the new rules were having a negative or highly negative impact. Nearly 30% checked “highly negative”.

All home care workers now are eligible for overtime and minimum wage protections. 68% of respondents have cut hours and 56% rescheduled shifts. About half of respondents increased rates by an average rate of $1.50 per hour, but that is not an option for many agencies.

Some states were already paying overtime to home care workers when the rule took effect, and so they were ahead of the curve. Agencies in other states have felt the effects of the new rules acutely.

For more information, contact MITC, download our free publication, How to Minimize Overtime, or join us an upcoming webinar!